BARBOURSVILLE, WV (WOWK) – After a year of planning and preparing, a new K-9 agility course for the Huntington and Barboursville Police Departments is coming to life.
The goal of the facility is to provide a space where officers and their K-9’s can properly train, helping to give them confidence, and make them effective and efficient in the field.
“It’s super important that we take care of them because they don’t really understand exactly what we are asking them to do,” said the founder of Spike’s K9 Fund, James Hatch. “They just know that they are with us and they want to help and be a part of the crew.”
It’s all thanks to the local organization Spike’s K9 Fund, who started the project. The cause hits close to home for founder James Hatch, a retired special warfare operator and K-9 handler, whose life was saved by a K-9 after he was critically injured.
“I served in combat with dogs and they saved my life, and I’ve seen police officers since I’ve been home who’ve been saved by their dogs,” said Hatch. “Sometimes they have to sacrifice their life for that, so we need to do everything we can to help them be prepared.”
While the course was built at Barboursville Park, any local police departments with K-9’s are welcome to use the facility.